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Penn, John (1741-1788) to Richard Caswell

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00414 Author/Creator: Penn, John (1741-1788) Place Written: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Type: Letter signed Date: 21 January 1780 Pagination: 3 p. : docket ; 30.3 x 19.3 cm.

Summary of Content: Co-signed by North Carolina Congressmen Thomas Burke and Allen Jones. Written in what appears to be Penn's hand. Penn was also a North Carolina Continental Congressman and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Written to Caswell as Governor of North Carolina. Mentions an enclosed and authentic "Extract of Intelligence" (not included). Says as the presiding magistrate of North Carolina, Caswell has a duty to stay vigilant against the enemy. They express fears "from the ill-judging class of our citizens, and from our negroes and should [the British] attempt to invade or penetrate any part of our country, we have no doubt of hearing, that the vigor and valor of our people will be exerted against them with decisive success." Want to know if Caswell needs any support from them, but they doubt they can send it. Says Virginia would no doubt help if North Carolina were threatened. Says they would have less fear for their state if the militia were completely armed. Says Virginia line is on the march to reinforce the Southern Army, hopefully in time to help Charlestown, South Carolina. They pass along information that the German princes are not allowing Britain to recruit troops in their kingdoms.

Full Transcript: Sir Philadelphia Jany 21st.1780

Inclosed is an Contract of Intelligence received through the most -authentic Channel and may be relied on
The peculiar Interest which our Country has in some ...part of it determined us to give the earliest advice in our power to you her presiding Magistrate, relying on your Vigilance for every thing that [inserted: can] possibly be done to frustrate the designs of the Enemy - we flatter ourselves that attract attention even to the most minute Movements of the disaffected, which we know you will cause to be kept up, will prevent the advantage which they hope for from that ill Judging class of our Citizens, and from our Negroes and should they attempt to invade or penetrate any part of our Country, we have no doubt of hearing, that the Vigor and Valor of [inserted: our people] [illegible]ty will be exerted against them with decisive [2] Success. but we cannot help wishing that the Scene of action may be forever removed from our own State, and that the Enemy may be met in their most distant approach by a force sufficient to give them an Effectual Check -
Our apprehensions on the article of Arms made us Enquire if any Succors of that kind could be sent from this place, but [inserted: we] can derive no hope from the Result.
Virginia has lately had an Acquisition of five thousand Stand, and we doubt not she will assist us if we shall be iminently threatened. It would give us great Satisfaction to learn that the long expected supplies of this kind are arrived for we should have no fears from such a force as the Enemy can employ against our particular State if the Militia were Compleatly armed -
The Virginia Line which is on its march to reinforce the Southern army will be, we hope, at least time enough to come to the Relief of Charleston should it be invested at all Events to check them in their approach to our Country -
We are well informed that the German Princes have [inserted: refused] Troops to great Britain, and even permission to recruit in their dominions -
[3] We have no other matter of Important Intelligence to Communicate at present and for Ordinary Occurances beg leave to refer you to the enclosed papers -
We have the honor to be
Your Excellency's ob.t Serv.ts
John Penn
Thos. Burke
Allen Jones

[address leaf]
His Excell.y
Richard Caswell esq.r

No. Carolina Delegates
in Congress, Phila.
21.st Jan. 1780
recd 14. Feb.
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People: Penn, John

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: SpyingGovernment and CivicsCongressContinental CongressMilitary HistoryRevolutionary WarGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicySlaveryAfrican American HistoryMilitia

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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